Last year in 2019 we took part in our first CES as complete neophytes. We knew no one and very few people knew about LINEDOCK. Back then it was only the two of us, Nancy and I. Bootstrapping to the max, we shopped $700 of IKEA furniture and installed the booth until 3 am the day before D-Day. A lot of effort and preparation and... that was totally worth it.
Distributors from all around the world came to our booth and requested price lists and spec sheets to bring Linedock to their local market. We had no experience with distribution or retail so it was quite something. We also met all the big guys for the first time: Logitech, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, ... they all came by.
This year we took it even more seriously: we planned everything months in advance and doubled down on the IKEA budget. Of course nothing happened as expected: we missed two flights, lost 2 prototypes and the booth was installed overnight... again. We're sharing some memories below.
Day 0: "The show starts tomorrow and the booth is far from being ready."
Good morning, Vegas!
Nancy gets a notification on her phone. 9to5Mac wants to visit us and take a look at our newest model. It's real. The initial 20 minutes review turned into an inspiring talk with Michael and Seth, 9to5Mac Founder.
Nancy, Seth Weintraub and Quentin
Day 1: Crowded.
The show started at 9.00 AM and we gave our first interview to MacVoices at 8.30 AM sharp. We've met all the people from last year and the whole Nomad team is there. At noon, one of our 13" models goes missing. Quite annoying.
After lunch, we meet with two of our original Indiegogo bakers, coming to discuss the new model they had been patiently waiting for. It's always amazing to meet the people who have been supporting us since the inception.
Day 2: Packed
Pretty busy in the morning, we gave a few press interviews and tons of demos. In the afternoon a guy came over, swiftly dropping something on the table. "Congrats guys, you deserve it!", he said. It was our first ever award: "Best Of Show" by 9to5Mac. That was HUGE. One hour later, GottaBeMobile came with its "Best In Show" award. We couldn't' sleep that night.
MacBook Pro 16" x LINEDOCK Setup
Day 3: Jam-packed.
That's the day the big guys came, Microsoft, Canon, HP, Peak Design, Native Union... It's quite intimidating when some Logitech or Apple folks come to test your product. We got ton of positive and constructive feedback on the new Linedock 16". The articles from 9to5Mac and GottaBeMobile didn't go unnoticed.
Protip: next time you are walking around at CES, pay attention to the flipped badges. All the people we met from big/important brands had flipped badge. This is some real-life incognito mode right here.
Day 4: Still just as crowded.
The last day was just as crowded as Day 3 and we were on our knees. Good thing Michelle and Jesper were there this year to help us. Michelle is an amazingly kind and strong human being, she joined the team last June to help Oliver on the support and logistics team.
Nancy, Quentin, Michelle and Jesper
It's hard to describe with words the CES afterglow... A mix of exhaustion, satisfaction, and excitement. It lasted for a week. Hopefully next year we'll be able to visit the show, as apart from the booths between ours and the gathering, we have seen nothing of #CES2020 this year.
One thing is for sure, next year we'll plan ahead and mount the booth in advance!